More stories

  • in

    ‘Over-scaled’ Waterfront Brisbane development approved

    The $2.1 billion Waterfront Brisbane office development designed by FJMT and Arkhefield has been given approval to be built on the Brisbane river, next to the Harry Seidler-designed buildings Riparian Plaza and Riverside Centre.
    Brisbane City Council and developer Dexus announced the approval for the controversial two-tower project at Eagle Street Pier at a press conference just days before Christmas 2020.
    Deputy mayor Krista Adams said the Eagle Street Pier precinct would be revived to include new public realm and a new riverwalk as part of the development.

    “This approval follows six months of working with the applicant on their plans to enhance the existing riverside destination and deliver a better experience for residents and visitors,” she said.
    “The Eagle Street Pier precinct was established as a dining precinct more than 30 years ago and this refresh will ensure it continues to provide dining, entertainment and spectacular riverside experiences for future generations.”

    View gallery

    Waterfront Brisbane by FJMT and Arkhefield.

    Included in the scheme are two towers of 49 and 43 floors along with approximately 9,000 square metres of riverside public open space and a new 280-metre riverwalk connecting Waterfront Place to the Riparian Plaza. The riverwalk will be funded by the council and delivered by Dexus, with construction set to begin in 2022.
    The previously included private pontoon to the north has been removed and replaced with a new publicly accessible, shaded space.
    The approval comes despite opposition from residents of the Riparian Plaza, and a scathing assessment of the proposed design from Penelope Seidler, director of Harry Seidler and Associates and wife to the late Harry Seidler.

    In a letter to the council in 2020 Seidler said she was “horrified” by the proposal which would “obviously have a detrimental impact on the iconic Brisbane waterfront.”
    “Waterfront Brisbane appears as an over-scaled wall of glass positioned without any regard to the established principles respected in the design of all other towers to their mutual benefit and to the benefit of this part of Brisbane,” she wrote. “The proposed design seems to turn its back in disrespect of Brisbane: ‘if you are not on our waterfront, you don’t exist’. The building shape forms a wall separating the city from the river.”

    In a design statement submitted to council in October, FJMT and Arkhefield describe how the design has been updated to better suit the river-front location, in response to council comments. “The architectural expression of the podium elements has moved away from vertical surfaces with façade operability, towards a more horizontal expression with continuous landscaped edges,” the architects state. “Deep overhangs provide increased shading and multiple opportunities for occupied outdoor terraces. The architectural expression has moved toward a more subtropical language that extends the Riverwalk vertically though the podium levels. The expression is of a multi layered edge condition populated by inhabited and welcoming landscaped spaces to stop and gather.” More

  • in

    First Inventory of Damage to U.S. Capitol Building Released

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Presidential TransitionliveLatest UpdatesCalls for Impeachment25th Amendment ExplainedTrump Officials ResignHow Mob Stormed CapitolAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyFirst Inventory of Damage to U.S. Capitol Building ReleasedThe damage was largely limited to broken glass, busted doors and graffiti, the report said.Capitol Police surveyed the damage to an entrance to the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday, a day after a mob of Trump supporters broke in and vandalized the building.Credit…Jason Andrew for The New York TimesJan. 8, 2021, 6:07 p.m. ETThe office of the Architect of the Capitol in Washington, the office that preserves and maintains the building’s art and architecture, released Friday the first inventory of the damage sustained during Wednesday’s riot.Damage to the interior of the building was largely limited to broken glass, busted doors and graffiti, the report said, though it noted that statues, murals and historic benches displayed the residue of various pepper sprays, tear gas and fire extinguishers deployed by both rioters and law enforcement personnel. They will need to be carefully cleaned and conserved, the report said.Outside the building, two bronze light fixtures designed in the late 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, the American landscape architect, and that illuminate the grounds at night, were broken. The report also noted graffiti on the west side of the building near stands which are being constructed for the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr. later this month.The Rotunda doors of the U.S. Capitol building sustained damage after rioters broke in on Wednesday. Credit…Jonathan Ernst/ReutersRioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday afteroon overturned tables and smashed windows, but left the singular artwork intact.Credit…Andrew Harnik/Associated PressNo major artworks were reported damaged, despite the violent demonstrations inside the building by Trump supporters that took the Capitol Police nearly four hours to quell. A mob broke into rooms on the south side of the Capitol (including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office), smashed windows and then marched through the National Statuary Hall, waving American, Confederate and “Trump Is My President” flags.Vandals in red “Make America Great Again” hats, many of whom photographed and recorded themselves, wreaked havoc in Congressional offices and the Rotunda. One man crammed a framed photo of the Dalai Lama into his backpack, while another smoked marijuana in a room with maps of Oregon on the wall. A 19th-century marble bust of former President Zachary Taylor was defaced with a red substance that looked like blood.Workers cleaned up broken glass and debris inside the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday.Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesBut the large-scale, 18-foot paintings by Trumbull and other artists that depict scenes from the republic’s founding in the Rotunda, and the dozens of statues that fill the National Statuary Hall to the south that filled the background of many of the rioters’ photos, all appear to have escaped damage.The office noted on Thursday that many of its employees had worked through the night to clean up the trash, glass and other debris that littered the building and begin repair work.“Wednesday was a difficult day for our campus,” the architect of the Capitol, J. Brett Blanton, said in a statement. “As the Architect of the Capitol mission calls us to serve, preserve and inspire, it was particularly hard to watch the scene unfold.”AdvertisementContinue reading the main story More

  • in

    National Gallery of Victoria unveils ‘spectacular’ second Triennial exhibition

    The National Gallery of Victoria has unveiled its much-anticipated Triennial exhibition, which features 86 projects from more than 100 artists, designers and collectives from more than 30 countries.
    The exhibition includes more than 30 new major commissions, including architectural commissions by Australian and international architects and designers.
    BTVV (Switzerland and Finland) were invited to create an installation after their whimsical Swiss national pavilion won the Golden Lion Award at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Like the Swiss pavilion, the Triennial installation plays with scale and perception.

    View gallery

    Walls 4 Sale: near new and supersized by BTVV.
    Image: Sean Fennessy
    “BTVV are an architecture studio that takes issue with architecture,” said Simone LeAmon, curator of contemporary design and architecture at NGV. They are critiquing their own discipline from within.
    “For this commission, they came to Melbourne and they witnessed what we’re all witnessing which is the building boom, and they took particular interest in the language of selling off the plan.”

    The studio made particular note of the distorted wide angle perspectives in renderings of apartments and the over emphasis on kitchen appliances in real estate.

    “They’ve taken what they see as being a very insincere language of visualizing and representing real estate and they have built it,” LeAmon explained. “So you will walk through doors that are oversized, you will encounter appliances which make you feel like Alice in Wonderland. It is quite a surreal experience.”
    The studio also plays on the speculative development market with a tongue-in-cheek proposal to construct an apartment tower over the Roy Grounds designed NGV International building.
    Japanese architect Kengo Kuma collaborated with Melbourne artist Geoffrey Nees on a timber pavilion made from trees that had died during the Millennium drought at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

    View gallery

    Botanical Pavilion by Kengo Kuma and Geoffrey Nees.
    Image: Tom Ross
    “When an arborist deems a tree unsafe sometimes that tree needs to be felled and that timber is very precious,” LeAmon said. Some of the trees pre-date European colonization. “If you walk inside the pavilion, you will encounter timber from all these trees and the smell is quite extraordinary.”
    The pavilion is built using a traditional Japanese technique where interlocking pieces are held together only by tension and gravity.
    LA-based Australian architect Liam Young created a 15-minute animated film installation that proposes that in the future, the entire world’s population would live together in a single densely packed city.

    View gallery

    Planet City by Liam Young.
    Image: Tom Ross
    “The provocation is we do this to let the rest of planet to return to its former state. This is a speculative design. It suggests we need to think differently about how we live in the future, how we design our cities, how we even live together as human beings,” LeAmon said.
    Other new commissions include the transformation of the NGV Gallery Kitchen by English architect Adam Nathaniel Furman and Australian studio Sibling Architecture. The installation draw on influences from the boudoir, the salon and the nightclub to create a space with “flamboyant scenography and décor.” It is intended to be an inclusive space that is “especially welcoming to those who may not feel comfortable or safe in the public realm.”

    The mammoth Triennial exhibition is underpinned by four themes: illumination, reflection, conservation, and speculation. The artworks – some of which have been several years in the making and others created in the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns – explore some of the most pressing issues of today, including isolation, conservation and climate change.
    Other artworks in the exhibition includes the world’s first quantum artwork – a 100 square metre screen depicting a speculative work by Turkish artist Refik Anadol, made using artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
    The exhibition is open from 19 December 2020 until 18 April 2021 and entry is free.
    “There couldn’t be a better way to welcome Victorians back to the NGV – the people’s gallery – than with the spectacular second NGV Triennial,” said Victorian premier Daniel Andrews.
    In unveiling the exhibition, Andrews also announced a $20 million donation from the Ian Potter Foundation towards the development of the proposed NGV Contemporary. More

  • in

    Pyrmont strategy clears path for controversial Star tower

    The NSW government’s final strategy for the Pyrmont peninsula clears the way for the controversial Star hotel development, with a 110-metre tower allowed at the northern end of the casino site and a 140-metre tower approved for the southern end.
    The decision to allow the development follows a prolonged battle over the proposed tower development, with state government MPs trading blows with the government’s own planning department and the City of Sydney over its appropriateness. The original 180-metre tower, designed by FJMT, was recommended for rejection by the planning department and was ultimately axed by the Independent Planning Commission. When the government announced a planning strategy overhaul for the area in July it was criticized for aiming to resurrect the controversial development; in September, Star Casino announced its intention to build two towers, instead of one.

    The release of the final Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy means the casino can now prepare a development application. Planning minister Rob Stokes said the strategy would provide more certainty and clarity regarding the future of the CBD’s western gateway.
    “We’ve listened to community and business feedback and have adapted the plan so that Pyrmont remains a prosperous and unique part of Sydney,” he said.
    “Striking a balance in planning is never easy and the unique geography and history of Pyrmont’s settlement pattern provided a particular challenge. Our fundamental task was to encourage economic development while enlivening the peninsula, boosting jobs and providing for more quality public open spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

    The strategy also confirms that a new Sydney Metro station will be built in Pyrmont as well as a new active transport link from Blackwattle Bay to the Fish Market Light Rail Station.
    It also calls for a “low-line” (modelled on New York’s High Line) beneath the Anzac Bridge pylons and Western Distributor overpass, comprising a ribbon of public, recreational space. Wentworth Park greyhound track land and the temporary pop-up school will also be transformed into publicly accessible open space.

    “Our plan will unlock public access to Sydney’s foreshore from Blackwattle Bay to Woollomooloo Bay [which hasn’t been accessible] since the 1800s,” said Stokes.
    “The pandemic has shown us the importance of public space and this strategy provides hectares more open space, uninterrupted foreshore and plenty of community infrastructure to support new and existing development.”
    Building heights will be allowed of up to 170 metres at Harbourside, while at Blackwattle Bay, 156 metres will be the maximum.
    The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will now prepare masterplans for the Pyrmont Peninsula’s seven sub-precincts: Pirrama, Darling Island, Blackwattle Bay, Tumbalong Park, Wentworth Park, Pyrmont Village and Ultimo. More

  • in

    Pavilion made with oyster shells wins Barangaroo design competition

    A design that envisions a “democratic gathering space under a landscape canopy” has won the NSW government’s design competition for a new public pavilion at Watermans Cove, Barangaroo.
    Behind the winning design in the national Pier Pavilion competition is architect Jessica Spresser, of the eponymous Brisbane studio Spresser, who worked in conjunction with fellow architect Peter Besley and Arup. The teams’s design was selected out of 170 entrants and five shortlisted designs announced in September.

    “Personally, this means a great deal as a young Australian architect and I thank Infrastructure NSW for putting together this competition,” Spresser said.
    The competition jury praised the design for its timeless appeal and a symbiotic relationship to the surroundings. The pavilion design includes a green rooftop garden and 123 columns built using white “oyster concrete” from local Sydney rock oyster shells.

    “The pavilion is designed as a democratic gathering space under a landscape canopy and will act as a meeting place, a site for events, a memorable part of the city and an oasis of tranquillity.”

    View gallery

    The Pier Pavilion winning design by Jessica Spresser in conjunction with Peter Besley and Arup.

    With the winner selected, the design will undergo refinement before Infrastructure NSW lodges a development application for construction. Once built, the pavilion will be open year-round and will be used for a broad range of programmed events.
    “Jessica’s design is sophisticated and iconic, celebrating the natural elements of land, sea and sky that compose the site,” said planning minister Ron Stokes.
    “Our vision for Barangaroo has been to ensure that more than half of the area was dedicated public space. Seeing the potential of how the area will look, through the eyes of talented architects, is a thrill for me as minister for public spaces.”

    Related topics More

  • in

    Brisbane tower proposal reminiscent of the Queenslander

    A 12-storey apartment building dubbed the “Trellis” for its framework of criss-crossing structural columns, deep balconies and pronounced slab edges will be built at 20-24 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane, under plans before council.
    In its design for the tower, Rothelowman has sought to challenge the traditional podium-tower composition, by removing the podium altogether.
    Instead, the tower is raised on large columns reminiscent of the stilts of a Queenslander and the ground plane is given over to landscape and pedestrians.

    “The columns from the Trellis overhead hold the street edge giving order and dignity to Edmonstone Street,” state the architects in planning documents.

    View gallery

    Trellis tower at 20-24 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane, designed by Rothelowman.

    “Passive design principles inform a layered facade where the horizontal shading projections and balustrade assembly allows for full height openings to living areas. This along with naturally ventilated corridors celebrate the liveability of the Brisbane environment.”

    RPS is the landscape architect for the project, in which landscape takes priority throughout. The ground floor lobby becomes a conservatory as part of a “curated landscaped interior experience…where the enclosure dissolves and allows the forest to take centre stage.”
    The development also includes a landscaped rooftop shaded by a generous pergola structure with 360-degree views. A 65kw rooftop solar system and associated battery storage is anticipated to offset around half of common area power usage for the residents.
    Developed by Aria Property Group, the tower will house 110 apartments, including 66 two-bedroom apartments and 44 three-bedroom.

    Related topics More

  • in

    Thriving mixed-use precinct planned for Aerotropolis gateway

    The low-density suburb of Glenfield in south-west Sydney will be transformed into a “thriving mixed-use precinct” at the gateway to the planned Aerotropolis, under a place strategy released by the New South Wales Government.
    The Glenfield Place Strategy, now open for public feedback, outlines how the precinct will be re-zoned to include around 7,000 new homes, with improved transport and education facilities and expanded public space.
    An urban design report prepared by Group GSA describes the design intent for a number of different “character areas,” which will feature a variety of different housing types to meet the community’s needs. Overall, the strategy puts an emphasis on sporting facilities and education, with existing schools such as the Hurlstone Agricultural High School to be retained and a potential new primary school to be built.

    The area was chosen for renewal due to its proximity to transport, in particular the South West Rail Link. The station precinct will become an “accessible employment hub,” supported by a new medium-rise residential neighbourhood overlooking the northern riparian open space corridor.

    In the adjacent town centre, the Glenfield main street will be the public retail and community spine. Group GSA describes “a vibrant mixed-use street connecting the train station, employment hub and urban square to the new district level recreational open space and playing fields.”

    View gallery

    A concept image prepared for the Glenfield Place Strategy.

    The north-west character precinct will be a green one- to two-storey low-density residential neighbourhood; the south-west precinct will be designed for low- and medium-rise residential buildings surrounded by extensive parkland and green landscaping; and the southern precinct will continue the transition from low to medium-density dwelling forms, with further increases in building heights.
    “Since the opening of the South West rail link by the NSW Government in 2015, Glenfield is strategically located at the junction of three major rail lines, putting it within an easy train commute to major centres at Liverpool and Campbelltown, an emerging centre at Leppington and only 45 minutes to the heart of Sydney’s CBD,” said planning minister Rob Stokes.

    “These geographic advantages mean that Glenfield is poised for a complete transformation and as a result, future residents will be able to live in an area with new homes, close to thousands of jobs, great public transport and 30 hectares of open space.
    “The strategy outlines a vision for a new town centre, shared streets which prioritise walking and cycling, improved cycleway connections and upgrades to regional active transport links.”
    The place strategy also includes a plan for green links connecting open spaces over the next 25 to 30 years, along with sites for potential health and community facilities within the town centre.

    Planning for a major upgrade to Cambridge Avenue is also underway to cater for the expected growth.

    Education minister Sarah Mitchell said the government was committed to protecting and expanding the Hurlstone Agricultural High School.
    “This plan includes protecting Hursltone Agriculural High School, which is the State’s oldest government boarding school, and retaining 50 hectares of land for agricultural education purposes,” she said.
    “The investment will deliver enhanced farm facilities, reflecting the latest in agricultural practices building on the important role the school plays in developing future ag pioneers.
    “The strategy reinforces the NSW Government’s commitment to ensuring the school remains at the centre of this community.”
    The strategy is on public exhibition until 12 February 2021. More

  • in

    Carbon-neutral apartment complex to be built in Fremantle

    One of the first carbon-neutral apartment buildings in Australia will be built in a former light-industrial area in Fremantle, WA, having received planning approval.
    Designed by Hillam Architects, the four- to five-storey mixed-use apartment building, named Montreal Commons, is the first building to be approved for Development WA’s Knutsford East Village.
    Housing 39 apartments and a ground-floor cafe, the development will include 75 kW of developer-funded solar photovoltaic on the roof. It will trial a unique power trading model where the strata company owns the solar infrastructure and generates passive income to offset owner levies by up to 50 percent.

    Hillam Architects says in a design statement that the building will reflect and reinterpret the rich, light-industrial heritage of the Knutsford precint, abstracting the surrounding sawtooth roofs within the serrated edges and angles of the facade.

    View gallery

    Montreal Commons by Hillam Architects.

    “This angular facade provides moments of familiarity, creating a dialogue with the existing industrial fabric,” the architects state. “Our proposal does not seek to imitate or mimic the existing architectural fabric, rather to provide a contemporary reinterpretation of the existing character while also looking toward the future goals and aspirations for the precinct.”
    The building neighbours Fremantle Golf Course and other apartment projects are planned for adjacent blocks. Also proposed for the Knutsford East Village is WA’s first Nightingale housing apartment buildings, designed by EHDO.

    A key design move for the Montreal Commons building is the creation of a central courtyard by cutting into the massing from the west, improving views, light and ventilation. A view corridor has also been cut through the volume from north to south and a series of green, open-air communal spaces are terraced down the building.
    “The spatial arrangement of the courtyard, periphery walkways and main stair echo the utilitarian layout of a working factory floor,” states Hillam Architects. “The central courtyard space anchors the building and serves as both a recreational space for residents [and] a privacy buffer between apartments.”
    Aspect Studios in the landscape architect for the project.
    The development has been approved by the Inner South Joint Development Assessment Panel, having been supported by Fremantle council’s Design Advisory Committee. The project is scheduled for completion by late 2022. More